Top Chef RITZ Crackers Quickfire Challenge celebrates food’s inclusivity, exclusive

TOP CHEF -- "Rice, Rice Baby" Episode 2002 -- Pictured: Padma Lakshmi -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- "Rice, Rice Baby" Episode 2002 -- Pictured: Padma Lakshmi -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo) /

Top Chef Season 20 has been captioned “World All Stars.” While the London locale is a first for the highly celebrated food television program, the global Cheftestants offer a broader culinary point of view this season. While the Bravo television program has inspired cooks, travelers, and food enthusiasts to yearn for a taste of the dishes on the screen, brand partnerships have helped to turn those coveted flavors into reality. As seen in the Top Chef RITZ Crackers Quickfire Challenge, the classic cracker can serve a bite of inclusivity.

In Top Chef Season 20 episode 2, the Quickfire Challenge asks teams of three to create an amuse buche using RITZ Crackers. While there are twists and turns to the challenge, the basic premise is that the one-bite dish that must fit on a single RITZ Cracker.

More important than the serving technicality of this challenge, the Cheftestants are tasked with channeling their own culture in that bite. The idea is to transport the judges to another place through flavor. How the chefs capture that concept will have varying approaches.

Seeing how one ingredient can be transformed in many ways is one of the reasons why Top Chef has become such engaging television. The diversity in food and flavor is one of the reasons why food always sparks a conversation.

Top Chef RITZ Crackers Quickfire
TOP CHEF — “Rice, Rice Baby” Episode 2002 — Pictured: Padma Lakshmi — (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo) /

As Jamie Cutburth EVP, Marketing & Content Partnerships, NBCUniversal’s Advertising and Partnerships said, “This season, we are thrilled to partner with RITZ Crackers for the first time to deliver on their promise of being inclusive of all cultures and ingredients in a way that is organic and captivating for the Top Chef fandom. Through their sponsored Quickfire challenge, we’ve been able to infuse that unique brand message with the cultures of each Cheftestant through the variety of dishes they create.”

Top Chef has used food as a way to connect with its audience. While the brand placement can showcase how home cooks and professional chefs can use the same ingredients, it is more than usage on the screen. The partnerships are an element of storytelling within both the competition and the cultural space. While the Cheftestants get praise for the winning dish which can been seen on a brand’s page, the dish itself offers a glimpse into a culinary point of view. Whether the chef invites fans to push their boundaries with an unlikely protein or introduces them to a unique flavor, the food moment creates conversation long after the episode has aired.

For Top Chef, leveraging these brand partnerships is vital for its fan base. Although few people may never be able to sit at that infamous judging table, the idea that a recipe or an ingredient can be enjoyed at home strengthens the connection to the iconic food television program. Regardless of background, location, or point of view, it is another example of how food is the universal connector.

As Cutburth shared, “Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ brand has had a lasting cultural influence for two decades now. This is a testament to our devoted and diverse fan base who are tuning in each season to see which Cheftestant will be crowned the ultimate Top Chef. And since the beginning, we’ve collaborated with world-leading brands that authentically align with the show to produce an elevated viewing experience for our highly engaged audience. Our partner collaborations put the Cheftestants’ culinary and creative skills to the test with brand-inspired challenges that help us to create impactful and meaningful integrations all season long and this time – internationally.”

With the Top Chef RITZ Crackers Quickfire, fans will be able to engage via both social media as well as by recreating the winning recipe at home. At the same time, the challenge could inspire fans to create their own version of this Quickfire with a box of RITZ Crackers. In some ways, the bigger impact of this partnership could be the inspiration for all cooks to share their story through food.

Bringing that food experience off the screen and into the kitchen is vital for RITZ Crackers. while the iconic brand has been part of many home cooks’ food experience, it is continues that food connection story.

As Alexis Yap, Sr. Brand Manager RITZ Crackers said, “RITZ is all about inspiring more everyday, intentional moments that make us feel connected to one another. For many people, including myself, that’s connecting with friends over the latest episode of the long running favorite Top Chef with a favorite snack. We are inspired daily by the creativity and flavor combinations our consumers share with RITZ on social media. Our partnership with Top Chef featuring the Quickfire Challenge is a natural evolution of that behavior, showcasing all the creative ways to enjoy delicious and versatile RITZ crackers!”

The Top Chef RITZ Crackers Quickfire is the first activation of this partnership. RITZ Crackers is an integrated sponsor of the upcoming Top Chef spinoff, Top Chef VIP on Telemundo. Cutburth said, “we’re looking forward to bringing more of that excitement with RITZ to our Spanish-language viewers in an upcoming partnership with Top Chef VIP on Telemundo.”

While only one Cheftestant walks winning the Top Chef RITZ Crackers Quickfire Challenge, there is a bigger prize to be earned. Inspiring fans to open a box of RITZ Crackers and tell their story is why Top Chef has become a legend in food television.

New episodes of Bravo’s Top Chef airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST and streams the next day on Peacock.